California’s excessive snowpack, on top of the massive fires of last summer, suggest that drinking water in the areas where both overlap will be high in carcinogens come summer.
DURANGO, Colo. (PRWEB) January 26, 2022
“California’s excessive snowpack, on top of the massive fires of last summer, suggest that drinking water in the areas where both overlap will be high in carcinogens come summer,” stated ecologist James P McMahon, owner of Sweetwater, LLC.
California has enjoyed an overwhelming amount of early snow. Water managers may be excited at the early promise of adequate water supplies for the coming summer. It is the Sierra snowpack that replenishes a portion of California’s water supply.
“Fire destroys much of the natural vegetation on the landscape. This leaves the ground barren and subject to massive erosion and flash floods,” said McMahon. “When snow melts it will drag debris and organic materials from the burn scars into California’s rivers and reservoirs.”
Drinking water contains the carcinogenic compounds known as Haloacetic Acids and Trihalomethanes. The presence of these may be seen in any drinking water quality report. These compounds are formed due to the interaction of chlorine and organic materials in water. Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is often used to minimize the production of the trihalomethanes. However, chloramine itself produces compounds not currently regulated by USEPA. The extent to which those are harmful is unknown.
Trihalomethanes enter the body through ingestion, inhalation, and absorption through the skin. The Haloacetic acids are primarily an issue through ingestion. A properly sized whole house water filter can remove both sets of compounds.
“Anywhere that fire scarred landscapes overlap with excessive snow will experience higher than normal organic debris runoff during snowmelt. If this happens in areas that supply consumers with drinking water, the level of trihalomethanes in water will be significantly higher in the spring and summer of 2022 than in past years,” added McMahon.
“Water managers may plan for this but I expect consumers will be exposed to higher levels of carcinogens in their drinking water come summer,” said McMahon